Internal Courtyard

Many schools often have internal courtyards, also referred to as quadrangles. Schools are large buildings but they often only take up the ground floor and maybe the first floor. This means that they end up being large but flat buildings, and this design lends itself to internal courtyards.

These internal courtyards are a great place for EYFS school children as they are safe and enclosed spaces. There are however two potential problems with this type of design. Firstly, there is usually an extremely high footfall in these areas, as they usually have entrances from classrooms on all four sides. The second issue is that maintenance in courtyards can be quite difficult, as any gardening equipment would need to be transported through the classrooms and hallways. This can obviously be very messy and difficult and can’t be done during school hours.

Artificial grass is a fantastic solution for quadrangles and courtyards in schools. It is extremely durable and so can withstand the heavier than usual footfall, it also doesn’t require maintenance and won’t need regular mowing or trimming. On top of this, artificial grass can do wonders for brightening up dull and grey areas and transforming them into idyllic, beautiful and fun environments for children to play in.

Bad Access

Stadia 24

Stadia 24 is typically used in semi-professional sports installations on football pitches and MUGAs. However we used it for this relatively small play area because of its increased level of durability. Our sports grasses are made to withstand extremely high impact levels. Normal, large and open playgrounds can have our normal artificial grasses such as Pro Play, however, because this small area was predicted to have such a high level of activity, we recommended Stadia 24 for the job.

Side Low Res stadia 24

Water Play Area

Small Water Play Areas are a brilliant addition to any early years foundation stage playground. Working with the school, we designated this corner of the courtyard as the water play area. Children can explore their fine motor skills and experiment with how different materials interact with water.

To make this area stand out as designated for water play, we installed our Blue Rainbow Range artificial grass and created a wavey graphic edge to the area, which completed the look. It makes us proud to think of the hours and hours of educational fun children will have in this specially designed area.

Water Play Area

Sensory Area

A problem with the pre-existing courtyard, was a residual area of the playground wedged between two buildings. This area went largely unused from day to day as it was only wide enough to fit one or two people in, with no space to do anything.

Thinking outside the box, we suggested to the school that they could use artificial grass to create a sensory area. The school loved this idea and we installed some of our more unusual artificial grasses such as Extreme and Turquoise Rainbow Range. These grasses create a unique set of colours and textures that can set the imaginations of young children alight.

Sensory Play Area
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Wetpour Area

To Add to a vibrant and varied playground, we added a Wetpour area in the corner of the quadrangle. We used a loud and bright red colour which will help make the playground stand out.

The use of different types of areas can also be very helpful for teachers using the playarea. Teachers are able to instruct pupils to move from one area to the next, not only will this help in organising the children, but it can also be used in playground games. For example, the Wetpour area can be used as a starting location for a face, or a base to run back to during imagination games.

Wetpour Area

Prior Drainage Problems

The Coppice Primary had pre-existing pond drainage problems in the centre of the courtyard. The amount of rainfall that the courtyard drains could handle was insufficient for the level of water it collected from all the adjacent roofs. As soon as a small amount of debris cumulated in the drains, puddles immediately formed.

Artificial grass on it’s own can’t do anything about drainage problems. The artificial grass has drainage holes that allow water to run straight through it. If the ground beneath the artificial grass can’t handle the water volume the artificial grass will have no positive or negative impact on this.

To attempt to help alleviate the drainage issues, Nomow built a French Drain below the artificial grass.

First, we removed the existing patio slabs. Then, we dug out and constructed a French Drain in the centre of the courtyard. The top of the French Drain was then made level so that it was unnoticeable after the artificial grass had been laid on top.

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